Nigerians are noted for the use of slogans and coinages to communicate, show support, or express disapproval in the political space.
Since the bells of the forthcoming 2023 presidential elections began ringing, some new and reinvented slogans have become popular, especially online, to promote and ridicule candidates by supporters and critics respectively.
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Daily Trust highlights the popular ones associated with the top four contenders of the presidential position.
Shortly after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt in 2018 ahead of the 2019 general elections, the internet was awash with posts and comments expressing support for his candidature.
Across Nigerian cyber platforms, especially on Twitter, the hashtag #Atikulated became a campaign slogan for the PDP standard bearer. It was coined from the word, ‘articulate’ to show Atiku has the capacity to lead the country. However, the slogan continues to gain popularity among the politician’s supporters especially on social media, to express their loyalty to him ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, was also the running mate of the former vice president Atiku Abubakar during the 2019 presidential election.
He withdrew from the last PDP presidential primary a few days to the exercise and defected to the Labour Party (LP) whose presidential ticket he eventually won.
With a number of youths rooting for him across social media, the slogan “Obidient” which was coined from the politician’s surnamehas become a term the former governor’s supporters use to identify with him and to promote his candidature.
The former Lagos State governor and the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has also been adorned with a slogan his supporters and promoters use to identify with him. BAT was coined from his initials and combined with suffixes “ist,” “ism” and “ied” to form “Batist” “Batism” and “Batified.” The terms have become a symbol of loyalty to the national leader of the ruling party.
“Emi lokan” is a Yoruba expression that literally translates to “It’s my turn.” It was first mouthed by Tinubu in Abeokuta, Ogun State just days before the APC presidential primary election. It emerged from Tinubu’s outburst over perceived gang-up against his presidential ambition despite his contribution to the party, including playing a key role in the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. The statement, which elicited a lot of criticism, has now become a slogan people use to exchange banter.
“Eleyi” is another Yoruba phrase associated with the APC flag bearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It means “This one” in Yoruba. The former Lagos State governor used it to address the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, whom he claimed rode on his influence to become governor.
Like emilokan, it trended off and online, and even in the political circle. The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, jokingly introduced Abiodun as the ‘Eleyi of Ogun State’ at the APC mega rally in Ekiti State, days to the governorship election in the state.
The former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, is known as the leader of “Kwankwasiyya Movement,” a political cult group that he described as one which believes in “building people.”
The supporters of the political movement as well as of the former governor identify as Kwankwasiyya members. But recently, there are attempts to propel “Kwanscious” as another adjectival coinage to describe Kwankwaso’s supporters, especially on social media.